Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chris Eaton

Origin:  Sedgley, Staffordshire (England)

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton

Vision - 1986 (with lyrics)


- Chris Eaton was born an grew up in the west midlands of U.K. In the eighties, he was part of a band called Lyrix (they later became Mark Williamson Band). After that he were building up his solocareer an in 1986 he released the album "Vision" on the Reunion label. This album has became one of the best west coast pop albums in the mid 80´s. On this album there is many highlights such as: "Vision (also recorded by Russ Taff)", "Love For the Common Man" and the classic "It Was Love".

 After this release Chris Eaton set his focus on songwriting, producing, and singing background vocals for many different projects. In 1995 Sparrow Records released his 2nd album "Wonderful World". This album is more relaxed than the "Vision" release, but you can still hear the strongness of his songwriting, and songs like: "Everlasting Love", "Breath of Heaven" and "Remember Me" are great highlights from the album.

Just a couple of years later Chris Eaton released the next album. In 1997 the album "Crusin´" was released on the Alliance Music UK label. The same album was released the year after in US, but with another title: "What Kind Of Love" (Cadence Music). -


- Born on September 16, 1958, Chris Eaton grew up in the West Midlands of England, influenced by music ranging from Deep Purple to Cliff Richard, a diversity that would serve him well during his career as a singer, songwriter, and producer. He was a member of the band Lyrix in the ‘80s, but left, eventually issuing a solo record, Vision, in 1986. Following its release, Eaton shifted his focus to less prominent, yet intrinsic roles in the music industry. As a songwriter, his songs have been performed and recorded by a myriad of Christian artists, including Susan Ashton and Margaret Becker, as well as numerous notable artists in other genres such as Sheena Easton, Vince Gill, and Boney James. Eaton also provided backing vocals on a number of records, including releases by Michael English, Twila Paris, and Michael W. Smith. In 1995, his Wonderful World album fond favor with the fans in the Christian market, buoyed by the track "Everlasting Love." Since then, Eaton has issued a third solo release, 1998's What Kind Of Love, which included tracks co-written with Amy Grant. -

(Tom Demalon

- Only the seriously studious fans of melodic rock will know this guy. Those in the christian rock movement will already know of Chris' superb singer/songwriter reputation, and his first album 'Vision' on the mainstream Christian label Reunion is an insight to his gifted talent. Originally from Birmingham in the UK, Chris spent his early years in the Christian band Lyrix, plus he was associated with another CCM icon in Mark Williamson and his band (Mark Williamson Band). The album, produced by Brown Bannister (producer of Amy Grant), looks like it's been recorded all over the place. From London, Los Angeles, to Nashville, it also boasts a superb cast of supporting musicians as you can see from the lineup listed above. If you want an immediate comparison, I can think of three reference points: David Pack, Tim Feehan, and Kenny Rogers Jnr. It's AOR. It's West Coast, and it's high tech. A wonderful combination and this album would go close to perhaps being the definitive AOR/West Coast crossover album. Yes, high praise indeed, but once you hear it, you'll know why.

The title track 'Vision' opens with some bombastic synths, before Chris' incredibly melodic voice soars through the verses and hi-tech arrangements. 'Don't Underestimate My Love' is a funky West Coast flavoured tune of which David Pack or Michael McDonald would rip into with fervor. The third track is a killer.. 'When My Heart Breaks' has the juiciest chorus this side of the black stump and is an absolute melodic melter. If an AOR song could be the equivalent of white chocolate, then this is it. The guys assembled to provide the backing vocals do so in complete harmony. 'Golden Rule' moves in the same foot tapping direction as Go West, and even 'Hold Back The Tears' is not too far removed either, but has more of a rock backbeat. 'Love For The Common Man' is a faster paced track, closer to Tim Feehan's 'Full Contact' era. Dann Huff is all over this one but unfortunately doesn't give us a solo. 'Talk To Me' has a cool chorus and West Coast theme whilst 'This Is For Real' has a poppier approach with stabbing guitars and keyboards and some sax roaring through the middle. The last pair of tracks are highlights for me: 'Don't Play Games' is a urgent rocker with a great chorus and Go West type synth parps, and then to top it off the album closer 'It Was Love' is a subtle piece of brilliance, starting slowly then building to an all out melodic climax, and we finally induce a solo out of Mr Huff this time around, and it's perfect. The wind-down on this song makes me wish the album didn't stop there.

It seemed that after this album, Chris disappeared off the map for a few years (I'm sure he didn't). He did make a reappearance during the mid nineties with a couple of albums, 'Wonderful World' and 'What Kind Of Love'. Both of these are not as hi-tech as 'Vision' preferring instead to be more mellow, but nevertheless contain some stunning tracks like 'Take My Heart Away', and 'Breath Of Heaven'. An incredible vocalist who really should be better known among the melodic rock fraternity.-


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